The Hamster pp 289-321 | Cite as

Behavioral Development in the Syrian Golden Hamster

  • Thomas A. Schoenfeld
  • Christiana M. Leonard


Study of behavioral development in hamsters had its formal beginnings in German ethology in the work of Dieterlen, Eibl-Eibesfeldt, and others. These studies offered some of the first descriptions of hamster pup behavior and established an important precedent for experimental inquiries into developmental mechanisms by the use of hamsters reared in isolation—the so-called Kaspar-Hauser animals (Dieterlen, 1959)—to test the importance of environmental stimuli on behavioral development.


Solid Food Golden Hamster Behavioral Development Olfactory Tubercle Odor Preference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alberts, J. R., 1978a, Huddling by rat pups: Multisensory control of contact behavior, J. Comp. Physiol. Psycho!. 92: 220–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alberts, J. R., 19786, Huddling by rat pups: Group behavioral mechanisms of temperature regulation and energy conservation, J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 92: 231–245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alberts, J. R., and Brunjes, P. C., 1978, Ontogeny of thermal and olfactory determinants of huddling in the rat, J. Camp. Physiol. Psychol. 92: 897–906.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alberts, J. R., and Leimbach, M. P., 1980, The first foray: Maternal influences in nest egression in the weanling rat, Dev. Psychobiol. 13: 417–429.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alberts, J. R., and May, B., 1980a, Development of nasal respiration and sniffing in the rat, Physiol. Behay. 24: 957–963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Alberts, J. R., and May, B., 1980, Ontogeny of olfaction: Development of the rat’s sensitivity to urine and amyl acetate, Physiol. Behay. 24: 965–970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Almli, C. R., and Fisher, R. S., 1977, Infant rats: Sensorimotor ontogeny and effects of substantia nigra destruction, Brain Res. Bull. 2: 425–459.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Altman, J., and Sudarshan, K., 1975, Postnatal development of locomotion in the laboratory rat, Anim. Behay. 23: 896–920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blass, E. M., Hall, W. G., and Teicher, M. H., 1979, The ontogeny of suckling and ingestive behaviors, Prog. Psychobiol. Physiol. Psycho!. 8: 243–299.Google Scholar
  10. Bolles, R. C., and Woods, P. J., 1964, The ontogeny of behaviour in the albino rat, Anim. Behay. 12: 427–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campbell, B. A., and Mabry, P. D., 1972, Ontogeny of behavioral arousal: A comparative study, J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 81: 371–379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Campbell, B. A., and Raskin, L. A., 1978, Ontogeny of behavioral arousal: The role of environmental stimuli, J. Camp. Physiol. Psychol. 92: 176–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carter, C. S., and Marr, J. N., 1970, Olfactory imprinting and age variables in the guinea pig, Anim. Behay. 18: 238–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chalupa, L. M., 1981, Some observations on the functional organization of the golden hamster’s visual system, Behay. Brain Res. 3: 189–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chalupa, L. M., Morrow, L., and Rhoades, R. W., 1978, Behavioral consequences of visual deprivation and restriction in the golden hamster, Exp. Neural. 61: 442–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cornwell, C. A., 1975, Golden hamster pups adapt to complex rearing odors, Behay. Biol. 14: 175–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cornwell, C. A., 1976, Selective olfactory exposure alters social and plant odor preferences of immature hamsters, Behay. Biol. 17: 131–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cornwell-Jones, C. A., 1979, Olfactory sensitive periods in albino rats and golden hamsters, J. Comp. Physiol. Psycho!. 93: 668–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cornwell-Jones, C. A., and Azar, L. M., 1982, Olfactory development in gerbil pups, Dev. Psychobiol. 15: 131–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cornwell-Jones, C. A., and Holder, C. L., 1979, Early olfactory learning is influenced by sex in hamsters but not rats, Physiol. Behay. 23: 1035–1040.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cornwell-Jones, C. A., and Kovanic, K., 1981, Testosterone reduces olfactory neophobia in male golden hamsters, Physic!. Behar. 26: 973–977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cornwell-Jones, C. A., Stephens, S. E., and Dunston, G. A., 1982, Early odor preferences of rats are preserved by neonatal 6-hydroxydopamine, Behar. Neural Biol. 35: 217–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Crandall, J. E., 1980, Functional and anatomical development of medial prefrontal cortex in the Syrian hamster, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Florida (Diss. Abstr. Int. 1981, 42: 822B ).Google Scholar
  24. Crandall, J. E., and Leonard, C. M., 1979, Developmental changes in thermal and olfactory influences on golden hamster pups, Behay. Neural Biol. 26: 354–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Daly, M., 1976, Behavioral development in three hamster species, Dev. Psychobiol. 9: 315–323.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Devor, M., and Schneider, G. E., 1974, Attraction to home-cage odor in hamster pups: specificity and changes with age, Behay. Biol. 10: 211–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dieterlen, F., 1959, Das Verhalten des syrischen Goldhamsters (Mesocricetus auratus Waterhouse), Z. Tierpsychol. 16: 47–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Etienne, A. S., Emmanuelli, E., and Zinder, M., 1982, Ontogeny of hoarding in the golden hamster: The development of motor patterns and their sequential coordination, Dev. Psychobiol. 15: 33–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fink, J. S., and Smith, G. P., 1980, Mesolimbicocortical dopamine terminal fields are necessary for normal locomotor and investigatory exploration in rats, Brain Res. 199: 359–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Finlay, B. L., Marder, K., and Cordon, D., 1980, Acquisition of visuomotor behavior after neonatal rectal lesions in the hamster: The role of visual experience, J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 94: 506–518.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Galef, B. G., Jr., and Clark, M. M., 1971, Parent-offspring interactions determine time and place of first ingestion of solid food by wild rat pups, Psychon. Sci., 25: 15–16.Google Scholar
  32. Goldman, L., and Swanson, H. H., 1975, Developmental changes in pre-adult behavior in confined colonies of golden hamsters, Dev. Psychobiol. 8: 137–150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gottlieb, G., 1971, Ontogenesis of sensory function in birds and mammals, in: The Biopsychology of Development ( E. Tobach, L. R. Aronson, and E. Shaw, eds.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 67–128.Google Scholar
  34. Grafe, M. R., and Leonard, C. M., 1982, Developmental changes in the topographical distribution of cells contributing to the lateral olfactory tract, Dev. Brain Res. 3: 387–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gregory, E. H., and Bishop, A., 1975, Development of olfactory-guided behavior in the golden hamster, Physiol. Behay. 15: 373–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gregory, E., and Pfaff, D. W., 1971, Development of olfactory-guided behavior in intact rats, Physiol. Behay. 6: 573–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hall, W. G., and Bryan, T. E., 1981, The ontogeny of feeding in rats: IV. Taste development as measured by intake and behavioral responses to oral infusions of sucrose and quinine, J. Comp. Physiol. Psycho!. 95: 240–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hall, W. G., and Rosenblatt, J. S., 1979, Developmental changes in the suckling behavior of hamster pups: A comparison with rat pups, Dev. Psychobiol. 12: 553–560.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hall, W. G., Cramer, C. P., and Blass, E. M., 1977, The ontogeny of suckling in rats, J. Camp. Physiol. Psycho!. 91: 1141–1155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Harder, W., 1949, Zur Morphologie und Physiologie des Blindarmes der Nagetiere, Vert. Dtch. Zool. Ges. 1949: 95–109.Google Scholar
  41. Heimer, L., and Wilson, R. D., 1975, The subcortical projections of the allocortex: Similarities in the neural connections of the hippocampus, the piriform cortex, and the neocortex, in: Golgi Centennial Symposium: Perspectives in Neurobiology ( M. Santini, ed.), Raven Press, New York, pp. 177–193.Google Scholar
  42. Henderson, N. D., 1981, A fit mouse is a hoppy mouse: Jumping behavior in 15-day-old Mus musculus, Dev. Psychobiol. 14: 459–472.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hissa, R., 1968, Postnatal development of thermoregulation in the Norwegian lemming and the golden hamster, Ann. Zoo!. Fenn. 5: 354–383.Google Scholar
  44. Johanson, I. B., and Hall, W. G., 1979, Appetitive learning in 1-day-old rat pups, Science 205: 419–421.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Johanson, I. B., and Hall, W. G., 1980, The ontogeny of feeding in rats: III. Thermal determinants of early ingestive responding, J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 94: 977–992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Johnston, R. E., and Coplin, B., 1979, Development of responses to vaginal secretion and other substances in golden hamsters, Behay. Neural Biol. 25: 473–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kasamatsu, T., and Pettigrew, J. D., 1979, Preservation of binocularity after monocular deprivation in the striate cortex of kittens treated with 6-hydroxydopamine, J. Comp. Neurol. 185: 139–162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kleitman, N., and Satinoff, E., 1982, Thermoregulatory behavior in rat pups from birth to weaning, Physiol. Behay. 29: 537–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lakars, T. C., and Herring, S. W., 1980, Ontogeny of oral function in hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), J. Morphal. 165: 237–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Leon, M., 1974, Maternal pheromone, Physiol. Behay. 13: 441–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Leon, M., Croskerry, P. G., and Smith, G. K., 1978, Thermal control of mother-young contact in rats, Physiol. Behay. 21: 793–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Leonard, C. M., 1974a, Degeneration argyrophilia as an index of neural maturation: Studies on the optic tract of the golden hamster, J. Comp. Neural. 156: 435–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Leonard, C. M., 1974b, Thermotaxis in golden hamster pups, J. Camp. Physiol. Psycho!. 86:458–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Leonard, C. M., 1975, Developmental changes in olfactory bulb projections revealed by degeneration argyrophilia, J. Comp. Neural. 162: 467–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Leonard, C. M., 1978, Maturational loss of thermotaxis prevented by olfactory lesions in golden hamster pups (Mesocricetus auratus), J. Comp. Physiol. Psycho’. 92: 1084–1094.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Leonard, C. M., 1981, Some speculations concerning neurological mechanisms for early olfactory recognition, in: The Development of Perception: Psychobiological Perspectives ( R. N. Astin, J. R. Alberts, and M. R. Petersen, eds.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 383–410.Google Scholar
  57. Leonard, C. M., 1982, Shifting strategies for behavioral thermoregulation in developing golden hamsters, J. Comp. Physiol. Psycho!. 96: 234–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Macrides, F., 1975, Temporal relationships between hippocampal slow waves and exploratory sniffing in hamsters, Behay. Biol. 14: 295–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Marier, P., 1981, Bird song: The acquisition of a learned motor skill, Trends Neurosci. 4:88–94. Newman, R., and Winans, S. S., 1980, An experimental study of the ventral striatum of the golden hamster. Il. Neuronal connections of the olfactory tubercle, J. Comp. Neural. 191: 193–212.Google Scholar
  60. Okon, E. E., 1971, The temperature relations of vocalizations in infant golden hamsters and Wistar rats, J. Zool. 164: 227–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Oppenheim, R. W., 1980, Metamorphosis and adaptation in the behavior of developing organisms, Dev. Psychobiol. 13: 353–356.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Oppenheim, R. W., 1981, Ontogenetic adaptations and retrogressive processes in the development of the nervous system and behaviour: A neuroembryological perspective, in: Maturation and Development: Biological and Psychological Perspectives ( K. J. Connolly and H. F. R. Prechtl, eds.), Lippincott, Philadelphia, pp. 73–109.Google Scholar
  63. Pedersen, P. E., and Blass, E. M., 1982, Prenatal and postnatal determinants of the 1st suckling episode in albino rats, Dev. Psychobiol. 15: 349–355.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Porter, R. H., and Etscorn, F., 1976, A sensitive period for the development of olfactory preference in Acomys cahirinus, Physiol. Behay. 17: 127–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Pujol, R., Abonnenc, M., and Rebillard, J., 1975, Development and plasticity in the auditory system: Methodological approach and first results, in: Aspects of Neural Plasticity ( F. Vital-Durand and M. Jeannerod, eds.), INSERM, Paris, pp. 45–54.Google Scholar
  66. Richards, M. P. M., 1966, Maternal behavior in virgin female golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus Waterhouse): The role of the age of the pups, Anim. Behay. 14: 303–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rosenblatt, J. S., 1976, Stages in the early behavioural development of altricial young of selected species of non-primate mammals, in: Growing Points in Ethology ( P. P. G. Bateson and R. A. Hinde, eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 345–383.Google Scholar
  68. Routtenberg, A., Strop, M., and Jerdan, J., 1978, Response of the infant rat to light prior to eyelid opening: Mediation by the superior colliculus, Dev. Psychobiol. 11: 469–478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rowell, T. E., 1961, The family group in golden hamsters: Its formation and break-up, Behaviour 17: 81–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rudy, J. W., and Cheatle, M. D., 1977, Odor-aversion learning in neonatal rats, Science 198: 845–846.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Schneider, G. E., 1969, Two visual systems: Brain mechanisms for localization and discrimination are dissociated by tectal and cortical lesions, Science 163: 895–902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Schneider, G. E., 1970, Mechanisms of functional recovery following lesions of visual cortex or superior colliculus in neonate and adult hamsters, Brain Behay. Evol. 3: 295–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Schoenfeld, T. A., and Corwin, J. V., 1982, Maturation of olfactory exploration in hamsters is correlated with late afferentation of the olfactory tubercle, paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, Sarasota, Florida.Google Scholar
  74. Schoenfeld, T. A., Street, C. K., and Leonard, C. M., 1979, Maturation of Wallerian degeneration: An EM study in the developing olfactory tubercle, Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 5: 177.Google Scholar
  75. Schwob, J. E., and Price, J. L., 1978, The cortical projection of the olfactory bulb: Development in fetal and neonatal rats correlated with quantitative variations in adult rats, Brain Res. 151: 369–374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Siegel, H. I., and Rosenblatt, J. S., 1980, Hormonal and behavioral aspects of maternal care in the hamster: A review, Neurosci. Biobehay. Rev. 4: 17–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Small, R. K., and Leonard, C. M., 1983, Early recovery of function after olfactory tract section correlated with reinnervation of olfactory tubercle, Dee. Brain Res. 7: 25–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Smotherman, W. P., 1982, Odor aversion learning by the rat fetus, Physiol. Behay. 29: 769–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Swanson, L. W., Mogenson, G. J., and Wu, M., 1982, Evidence for a projection from the lateral preoptic area and substantia innominata to the mesencephalic locomotor region, Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 8: 173.Google Scholar
  80. Teicher, M. H., and Blass, E. M., 1977, First suckling response of the new-born albino rat: The roles of olfaction and amniotic fluid, Science 198: 635–636.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Tobach, E., 1977, Developmental aspects of chemoreception in the Wistar (DAB) rat: Tonic processes, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 290: 226–269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Welker, W. I., 1964, Analysis of sniffing of the albino rat, Behaviour 22: 223–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Westrum, L. E., 1975, Electron microscopy of synaptic structures in olfactory cortex of early postnatal rats, J. Neurocytol. 4: 713–732.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Schoenfeld
    • 1
  • Christiana M. Leonard
    • 2
  1. 1.Worcester Foundation for Experimental BiologyShrewsburyUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of Florida College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations